It's interesting to me that you don't hear much about the "evangelical movement" before the mid 1970's in this country. In the 1960's you could barely distinguish a free-thinking hippie from a Jesus freak. It seemed that peace and love would be the commonality that could unite believers with their free-thinking counterparts. And for a brief time that was true. But brewing under the surface were radical thinkers who's ideas were just waiting for the opportunity to catch fire. Among the most prolific of these was R.J. Rushdoony--a descendant of aristocratic priests dating back to 315 A.D.--who cut his teeth back in the 1950's during the "Red Scare", anti-communist movement famously led by Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Rushdoony's radical world view was based on an alternative Christian legal system that managed to emerge from the ashes of the great Roman Empire. He is widely considered the impetuous for modern Christian fundamentalism and serves to be an inspiration for a lot of well known Christian leaders and politicians. He advised, "Don't go to civil courts, they are ungodly. Create your own courts."
In 1973 he published an 800 page book called "The Institutes of Biblical Law" that outlines a federal government takeover and a plan to reconstruct the court system that would be based on this very religious dogma. A top researcher of the Christian right named Frederick Clarkson, who has studied this book stated,
"Recontructionism seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of "Biblical Law". Reconstructionism would eliminate not only democracy but many of its manifestations, such as labor unions, civil rights laws, and public schools. Women would be relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, possibly executed."
Rushdoony wrote, "God's government prevails, and His alternatives are clear-cut: either men and nations obey His laws, or God invokes the death penalty against them."
Preferred modes of execution are burning at the stake, impaling with sword, stoning and hanging. People eligible for this sentence would include homosexuals, unchaste women, adulterers, astrologers, witchcraft practitioners, and even disobedient children. ( I'm pretty sure atheists would be on the chopping block too)
Of course most modern Christian leaders and politicians reject this sort of extremism, but the underlying sentiment can easily be seen in thousands of sermons, speeches, websites and radio broadcasts in this country every week. And it is common for religious zealots around the world to literally adhere to similar standards and behavior. Obviously we don't have to worry to much about this sort of takeover in America, but it is interesting to note who these people are taking their cues from. Let's face it, there is a huge number people among us who are working hard for a day when this sort of thing could be a reality. It can't happen as long as science and information continue to develop and proliferate, but this is the type of radical ideology that we're dealing with.
(quotes from "Republican Gomorrah" , by Max Blumenthal)